Chinese Philosophy

Chinese Philosophy


Course Description

Chinese philosophy and thoughts of pre-eminent philosophers in the past, including Confucianism, Mencianism, Taoism, and the religious thinking from the core of Confucius’ teaching.

 Course Objectives

  • To obtain the fundamental concepts of Chinese Philosophy, especially the extensive topics of Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism.
  • To determine a broad understanding of the life, values, and legacies of Confucian scholars with emphasis on Confucius, Mencius, and Zhu Xi.
  • To gain fundamental insights into classical Chinese philosophy during Spring and Autumn Period (770 BC to 480 BC) and Warring States Period (479 BC to 221 BC), including Confucianism, Taoism, Mohism, and Legalism.
  • To gain a scholarly understanding of the development of Chinese thought and philosophy in a comparative context with Western philosophical development. To investigate and present a selected topic to stimulate ideas and approaches to understanding Chinese philosophical thought and tradition.


A Source Book in Chinese Philosophy

Chan, W. (1969). A Sourcebook in Chinese Philosophy. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press.

Available online at

Key chapter reviews by Dr Steven A Martin for discussion in Confucius' Teachings and Chinese Philosophy


CONFUCIUS (KUNG TZE) Biographical Drama (2010)

2010 Biographical Drama | Confucius (Kung Tze)


Introduction to Chinese Thought in the Eastern Tradition | PDF


Introduction to Chinese Philosophy in the Context of Eastern Asia | PDF



Hierarchy and Harmony — Confucius’ Five Cardinal Relationships

Steven A. Martin, PhD

As one of the central pillars in occidental culture, Confucianism has been one of the central philosophies of Eastern Civilization. This paper reviews concepts put forth in Confucius’ Five Cardinal Relationships and discusses the vertical hierarchy and harmony of Confucian doctrine in five short essays: morality in order, nature and order, education and order, power and order and globalization and order. My research aims to discern Confucius’ philosophy of social order in these contexts, offering contemporary criticism and a framework for future discussion.

Please contact me if you are interested in this research or reviewing a draft of my paper.

Thank you for visiting my Chinese Philosophy page.

This course is no longer offered at the university.

Relevant content has been moved to the Eastern Civilization and Silk Road course pages.